Silent night, holy night!
It’s nightfall on Christmas eve.
But PJ is never silent. There is constant cars honking and mamak chatter and teenage bitching and couples banging. The PJ kid knows that screeching tyres followed by irate cussing means home.
Holy, on the other hand, is a whole different matter. I fill my glass with wine- half empty. Pessimism, it runs in the family. Drinking isn’t a family trait though, the general consensus being that alcohol is the saliva of satan. Holiness and alcohol are, apparently, mutually exclusive.
All is calm, all is bright.
We had family dinner. It’s a long and cherished tradition. Dinner, simultaneous with heartfelt bitching on my side, is served. There’s a turkey. There’s always a turkey.
But no sauce this year.
Mama makes excellent turkey. If there’s one dish she truly mastered, its the artful malefaction of a poor bird that missed the presidential pardon. She stuffs it with various ingredients, turns it upside down, followed by a stint in the oven. The gravy that drips from the turkey, she turns into a rich and greasy sauce.
But mama didn’t make the turkey this year. The job was outsourced to the domestic helper, who forgot the sauce.
So no sauce this year.
Round yon virgin, mother and child.
Dinner is followed by a round of carolling. We sing Christmas carols, all about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We don’t even mention Santa Claus, because that will be blasphemous. Just ask my church mate, who had a bone to pick with the management of Damen Mall. “Beautiful Christmas decorations,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “But why so much Tsum Tsum?? What has Tsum Tsum got to do with Christmas? Where is baby Jesus??”
She wants baby Jesus dolls all over a Malaysian mall. Maybe the schools didn’t teach political correctness during her time.
Holy infant so tender and mile.
After sing along, we read a passage from the Bible. We are reminded of the true meaning of Christmas- that Jesus was sent to Earth to die for our sins. Not Santa, not presents, not Tsum Tsum. Jesus is the true meaning of Christmas.
Jesus- joy to the world.
Although joy is a little distant when the past months were filled with hospitals and oxygen tanks and immunotherapies and oxygen concentrators and chemotherapies and pain killers. And doctors and nurses and self-righteous dick heads.
Silent night, holy night! Glories stream from heaven afar. Heavenly host sing ‘Alleluia.
Next, we open our presents under the tree. As always, there are books. Lots and lots of books. Where books are lacking, there are book vouchers. And then we talk about books.
We really need to take a break from books sometimes.
Mama is tired. She goes to bed.
Silent night, holy night! Son of God, love’s pure light. Radiant beams from Thy holy face.
Christmas morning, I always go to church.
But not today.
Today, Broady and I talk about all that is wrong with the world. Then we roll around in bed and have sex. The other day, we scored a pack of special condoms- 6 different flavours, and a vibrator for a free gift. We give the studded one a go. Meh, I’ve tried better.
Merry Christmas to me. Merry Christmas, Chow Ping.
And happy generic birthday, Jesus. Thank you, God, for sending your son, whom I’ve verbally abused too many times over the years.
But He always shows up, huh? Over and over again. Even when I’m yelling and kicking for Him to get lost, He always shows up. Sometimes like a tidal wave over my wretched, miserable soul; mostly like that comfy old T-shirt I’m determined to rid of but just can’t.
An ever faithful presence.
…With the dawn of redeeming grace.
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.